Asee peer logo

Board 429: Variations in Motivation for Learning to Use MATLAB among First-Year Engineering Students

Download Paper |


2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Alison K Polasik Campbell University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Alison Polasik, Ph.D. joined the Campbell University School of Engineering in August 2018. Previously, she was an assistant professor of practice in The Ohio State University’s Materials Science & Engineering Department. She has a decade of experience teaching and designing curriculum and incorporating real-world scenarios in her courses. Her work in engineering education has been presented at conferences and published in peer-reviewed proceedings for the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), and North American Materials Education Symposium (NAMES), Frontiers in Education (FiE), and Materials Science and Technology (MS&T) conferences.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Motivation can affect learning, and there will be variations in students’ motivation for learning to use computational tools such as MATLAB. In this research, we seek to determine whether differences in motivation correlate with students’ intended engineering major. Students from a large midwestern state university were surveyed about their interest, perceive utility value, and self-efficacy specifically for MATLAB as they were learning to use it in their first semester. Initial data for n = 174 students indicate that variations in these factors do not clearly align with intended major, gender, or prior math experience. These results will be compared to ongoing studies that focus on students in Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering sub-disciplines. Findings will also be compared to data on students from a small private university with an interdisciplinary engineering degree. Understanding the initial motivation for learning to use computational tools and programming can help elucidate what factors might lead to reduced motivation for this increasingly critical skill.

Polasik, A. K. (2023, June), Board 429: Variations in Motivation for Learning to Use MATLAB among First-Year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42781

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2023 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015